Jeep Wranglers are some of the most beloved offroaders, offering superior performance in all types of terrain and a decent amount of towing capacity.
But, how much can a Jeep Wrangler tow?
While the answer can vary widely depending on what model year you’re talking about, the 2023 Jeep Wrangler can tow between 2000 and 3500 pounds, while older models can range anywhere between 1600 and 3500 pounds.
Jeep Wranglers are some of the most iconic cars on the road with diehard fans all over the world. Still, despite its reputation as a rugged all-terrain vehicle, Jeep Wranglers don’t often impress when it comes to their towing capabilities.
Still, they are great offroaders and are fantastic for going on extended outdoor adventures with, so as long as you don’t have too much to tow around, a Jeep Wrangler could be the perfect car for you.
What Is Towing Capacity?
The towing capacity of a vehicle is essentially the maximum amount of weight that a vehicle can tow safely.
However, while car makers usually give one number out as the official towing capacity of the car, in the real world, your car’s ability to tow can change depending on exactly what you’re pulling.
For instance, the length of the thing you’re towing can have a big effect on how well you’re vehicle can maintain control of it.
That is just one example however, there are many other factors that can change what your vehicle can safely tow so, in general, you should never really tow any more than 90% of what your vehicle’s official towing capacity is so that you can ensure you are as safe as possible.
What Affects Towing Capacity?
As stated before, there are plenty of factors that can affect how much weight your vehicle can safely tow. Many of these factors depend on what is being towed however, there are also certain limitations of the vehicle.
Power is obviously one of the biggest factors when talking about towing capacity. In general, the bigger the engine, the more a vehicle will be able to tow, with the amount of torque an engine is able to put out being the most important factor.
Torque is essentially a measure of rotational force. The more torque your engine can put out the more force it is able to use to turn the wheels, which is incredibly important when it comes to towing capacity.
Another thing that can drastically affect the towing capacity of a vehicle are its own dimensions and weight. The height, length, and width of a vehicle, as well as how much it weighs, has a huge effect on its center of gravity and how stable it will be when towing something behind it.
Jeep Wranglers are no stranger to this, as their towing capacity often suffers as a result of their short wheelbases. For this same reason, you’ll often notice that the Wrangler’s towing capacity will vary widely depending on if it’s the 2-door or 4-door model, as the 4-door Wrangler is much longer and a bit heavier, allowing it to safely tow much more weight than its 2-door counterpart.
How Much Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow?
Again, the Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity largely depends on the particular model year and trim level of each vehicle. While early generations had less variety when it came to trim levels, later ones had many more options that included larger engines and longer wheelbases that make a big difference in towing capacity.
Still, as a general rule, no matter what the model year or trim level, Jeep Wranglers can tow anywhere between 1600 – 3500 pounds.
Wrangler YJ (1987 – 1996)
The first-generation Jeep Wrangler, the YJ, first began production in 1986. Known for its iconic square-shaped headlights in place of the standard round ones, this was the first Jeep sold under the name Wrangler.
While there were several different trim levels released throughout the years with different engine and transmission configurations, the official towing capacity for all of these first-generation Wranglers is 2000 pounds.
Wrangler TJ (1997 – 2006)
The second-generation Wrangler is probably the most iconic of the bunch. Bringing back the signature circular headlights Jeep is known and a slightly longer wheelbase, this is the most likely model that will pop into your head if you think about a Jeep Wrangler.
This is also the first generation where you begin to see variances in the towing capacities of different models. Depending on the year, you had a choice between either a smaller 4-cylinder engine or a more powerful 6-cylinder engine.
As you would expect, the models with these different engines have different towing capacities, with the 4-cylinder model having a towing capacity of 1600 pounds, 400 less than the previous generation, and the 6-cylinder model having a towing capacity of 2000 pounds.
Wrangler JK (2007 – 2017)
The third generation of Jeep Wrangler began production back in 2006 and it introduced us to what would become the modern Jeep Wrangler. While the new generation model did feature a series of design changes both on the exterior and interior of the vehicle as well as updated tech and a new engine, this was also the first generation of Jeep Wrangler to have a 4-door option.
The 4-door model, called the Wrangler Unlimited, became incredibly popular to the point that by 2017, about 75% of all Wranglers listed for sale were the 4-door variant. This also had a big effect on the towing capacity of the vehicle. Naturally, the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited has a much longer wheelbase which improves stability and allows it to tow a lot more weight than the standard 2-door model.
Even though there are a variety of different engine and transmission configurations to choose from in this generation, the official towing capacity of each model completely depends on if it is the standard 2-door model or the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited.
The standard 2-door model keeps the same 2000 pound towing capacity as the previous generations, while the 4-door Unlimited has a much improved towing capacity of 3500 pounds.
Wrangler JL (2018 – present)
The most recent generation of Jeep Wrangler was first released in 2017. With only a few minor design changes and updates, the most recent generation doesn’t go out of its way to change too much of the formula.
Still offered in both 2-door and 4-door Unlimited models, this again is the only determining factor when looking at Wrangler towing capacity. Again, the 2-door Wrangler has a towing capacity of 2000 pounds, while the 4-door Wrangler Unlimited has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds.
What Can You Tow In a Jeep Wrangler?
Knowing the numbers is all well and good, however, what do they actually mean? If you don’t have an idea of what 2000, or 3500 pounds looks like, you won’t be able to make an educated decision about what your Wrangler is actually able to tow.
If you have a 2-door model with a towing capacity of 2000 pounds, there are still plenty of things you can tow around. Trailers meant to carry a small motorboat, bikes, or a dirtbike or ATV or two will work perfectly fine with the two door.
Even some smaller campers or trailers will be fine, however, definitely don’t try to haul around a full-sized trailer loaded to the brim with heavy equipment as that is definitely not a good idea.
The 4-door model gives you a bit more wiggle room when it comes to towing. While 3500 pounds still isn’t nearly as heavy duty as any average-sized pickup truck, you could still potentially tow many pop-up and hybrid camping trailers as well as a small to midsize car if need be.
In the end, if you are using your Wrangler to go out on weekend camping trips with your family, your Jeep should have enough towing capacity to bring along whatever you need, whether its a bit of extra storage, a small boat, some dirt bikes, or even a small camping trailer.
However, if you plan on using your vehicle to haul heavy equipment or any medium to large sized trailer, boat, or other recreational vehicle, the Jeep Wrangler may not be the right choice for you.
Key Takeaways to How Much Can a Jeep Wrangler Tow?
Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight a vehicle can safely tow.
There are plenty of factors that affect towing capacity including the size, shape, and weight of both what is being towed and the vehicle doing the towing.
All Jeep Wranglers, no matter what model year or trim level, have a towing capacity between 1600 and 3500 pounds.
The Jeep Wrangler’s towing capacity should be sufficient for most average people who don’t need to haul around heavy loads.